Hometown Inc.

Collection Title: Hometown, Inc.

Call Number: Mss-3068

Inclusive Dates: 1891 – 1990

Volume: 10.7 Cu. Ft.

Location:  GV, Sh. 030-032

Company History: John T. Kopmeier, a native of Germany, started a milk delivery business in, however by 1849 he realized that the ice used to cool the milk was a more profitable venture. By 1879 his company had three retail ice routes, with much of its business revolving around breweries and meat packers throughout Milwaukee. In the late the 19th century, John H. Kopmeier expanded the business, buying out other ice companies and starting a cartage business. As a result, the company’s name changed in 1893 to Wisconsin Lake Ice and Cartage Company.

The company continued diversifying, entering the coal business in 1917 and changing its name to the Wisconsin Ice and Coal Company.  During this time, it also sold ice boxes and began manufacturing ice rather than harvesting it from the Milwaukee River and nearby lakes (the last ice harvest took place in 1923).  By the 1930’s the company had five ice plants, six warehouses, and twenty ice houses throughout the greater Milwaukee area.  The year 1936 was the company’s most productive, selling more than 131 tons of ice. In 1940 the company had 212 ice routes operating in the Milwaukee area seven days a week and was the largest ice supplier in Wisconsin.

In 1929, the company diversified again by going into the fuel oil business and later into gasoline retail.  In 1952, it purchased the Sinclair Oil Terminal and by the 1960’s had more than two dozen service stations under the name “Hometown.”  As petroleum products gradually replaced the ice and coal component of the company, its name was officially changed to Hometown Inc. in 1969.  In 2005, the company sold its ice manufacturing business to Artic Glacier Inc. but still operates its petroleum business.

Scope Content Note: This collection is arranged into four series. Series 1 largely consists of meeting minutes and daily records from the company’s early years, but also includes newsletters, trade publications, plat maps, and blueprints.  Series 2 contains advertising and marketing material primarily from the 1950’s onward, largely in the form of newspaper clippings and slides.  The bulk of the collection is photographs contained in series 3 that span the entirety of the 20th century.  Many photos picture early icehouses, coal yards, and vehicles, but also document employees and Kopmeier family members. Series 4 contains audio visual material, the bulk being 16mm films of ice harvests, VHS tapes, and audio cassettes of radio broadcasts.

Administrative Note: This collection was donated in January 2007 by Jon Day.  It was originally processed in 2007 by L. Chasco.  The collection was reprocessed in 2015 by Greg Comly.

 

Contents Box # Folder #
     
Series 1: Administrative and Business Material  
Wisconsin Lakes Ice and Cartage Company    
Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Meeting Material, 1893-1896 1 1
Meeting Minutes, 1891-1894 1 2
Meeting Minutes, 1896-1905 1 3
Meeting Minutes, 1914-1918 1 4
Stock Transfers, 1893-1914 1 5
Wisconsin Ice and Coal Company
Meeting Minutes, 1918-1930 1 6
Meeting Minutes, 1933-1951 1 7
Business and Administrative Correspondence, Bound Ledgers
Administrative and Mics. Matters, Dec. 1915 – Dec. 1923 1 14
Administrative and Mics. Matters, Aug. 1922- June 1923 2 Vol. 1
Administrative and Mics. Matters, March 1928- Sep.1929 2 Vol. 2
Administrative and Mics. Matters, Sept. 1929- Aug.1929 2 Vol. 3
Bills, June 1925-June 1931 2 Vol. 4
Common Sense Ice Box, Feb. 1917 – March 1928 2 Vol. 5
Ice and Coal Services, Dec. 1925 – Jan. 1927 2 Vol. 6
Ice and Coal Services, March 1928 – Oct. 1931 2 Vol. 7
     Customer Complaints, 1929-1928 3 5-6
     Customer Compliments, 1944 – 1967 3 7
     Group Insurance Policy, Prudential Life, 1925, 1971 10 – Oversize

 

Loose In Box
     Historical File 3 8
Ice Industry Publications    
Ice Industry Business Newspapers, 1915-1928 3 9
Proceedings of the National Association of Ice Industry 3 10
Trade Journals, 1922-1950 3 11
      Old Timers Diner, Service Awards, 1956 3 15
     Material from Scrapbook containing blueprints of company

property, Plat Maps, and Advertisements

13 – Oversize Loose In Box
      Miscellaneous 3 13
      Newsletters, 1938-1974 3 9
      Newsletters [Duplicates],  1949, 1964 10 – Oversize

 

1
     Plat Book and Atlas, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee Counties,

1921, 1954, 1962

10 – Oversize

 

6
      Salary and Wages, 1960-1977 3 16
      Worker Instruction Poster, undated 11 – Oversize 5
Series 2: Advertising and Marketing
     Advertisements, 1950-1962 3 1
     Advertisements, 1960’s 3 2
     Advertisements, Fuel Oil, 1967-1969 3 3
     Advertisements, Competitive, 1966-1967 3 4
     Hometown Inc. Subject File [Slides], 1965 -1975
Advertisements and Production Allocation, 1973 Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 3-4
Advertisements, 1970-1973 Box 4

Carton: 3

Section: 1-2
Advertisements, Gas Stations,1965-1975 Box 4

Carton: 3

Section: 3-4
Contests and Awards, Oct. 1970 Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 5
Promotion, Milk and Cookies, May 1965 Box 4

Carton: 2

Section: 7
Mascot, TopCat Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 2
Meeting Slides, 1970 Box 4

Carton: 3

Section: 7
Sales and Consumption, 1966-1972 Box 4

Carton: 3

Section: 5-6
     Ice Bags 10 – Oversize

 

4
     Kopmeier Motor Car Company Garage, Sketch, undated 11 – Oversize 6
     Market Research Material, Gas and Coal, 1973-1983 3 12-14
     Material from Scrapbook containing Wisconsin Ice and Coal

Company Clippings and Advertisements, 1951-1953

12 – Oversize Loose In Box
     Miscellaneous Clippings 1 12
     Scrapbook on Pate Dealer Meeting, 1960 1 10-11
     Sheet Music 1 9
     “Take Me out to the Ball Game” – Advertisements Decca Album

No. 120 Popular Series, 1971

Note: 4  – 78rmp Recordings

10 – Oversize

 

Loose In Box
Series 3: Photographs
    Aerial Views, 12th/13th Street Docks,  undated 10- Oversize

 

Loose In Box
    Charcoal Manufacturing 5 1
    Coal Yards Identified
Lakeside, Cambridge and North, 1924 5 2
Lakeside, Cambridge and North, 1924 11 – Oversize Loose In Box
West Allis, 42nd and Orchard, 1927-1950 5 3
16th Street Dock, 1929-1964 5 4
Canal Street Dock, 1920-1930 5 5
     Delivery Men, 1900-1940’s 6 1
     Electric Cars and Other Miscellaneous Photographs 11 – Oversize 1
     Headquarters, North Avenue, 1948-1949 5 6
     Hometown Service Stations, 1956 – 1983 5 7
     Employees, undated 5 8
     Free Entertainment to Boys and Girls of Milwaukee, 1908 5 9
     Free Entertainment to Boys and Girls of Milwaukee, 1908 10-Oversize

 

2
      Free Entertainment to Boys and Girls of Milwaukee [Duplicates],
1908
10-Oversize

 

3
     Hometown Inc. Subject File Photos [Slides], 1965 -1975
Banquet, undated Box 4

Carton: 2

Section: 4-5
Banquet, Nov. 1975 Box 4

Carton: 4

Section: 2
Banquet, Roger Zweig, undated Box 4

Carton: 5

Section: 1-5
Broadwater Hotel, Biloxi, Mississippi Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 6
Enco Gas Stations Box 4

Carton: 2

Section: 6
Employees, Service Stations Box 4

Carton: 4

Section: 4-5
Gas Stations and Services, June 1965 Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 1
Gas Stations, 1975 Box 4

Carton: 1

Section: 7
Gas Stations and Services, 1965-1966 Box 4

Carton:2

Section: 1-2
Gas Stations and Advertisements, 1962-1973 Box 4

Carton: 2

Section: 3
Lakefront, 1975 Box 4

Carton: 4

Section: 1
Miscellaneous Box 4

Carton: 4

Section: 6-7
Miscellaneous Box 4

Carton: 6

Section: 1-7
     Hometown Inc. Subject File Photos [5 x 7], 1980-1990
        A-G
Cronin Oil

Events and Gatherings

Golfing Events

6 7
         H
Holiday Ice Sculptures, 1987

Home Improvement Show, 1988

Hometown Cartoons

Hometown Gas Stations

Hydro Races, 1990

6 8
I-Z
Mics. Equipment

Mics. Negatives

Office Personnel, 1986

Office Personnel, 1987

Office Personnel, undated

Parade

South Branch

6 9
     Ice Harvest, Milwaukee River, 1901-1919 6 2
     Ice Houses Identified
Barton, Ives, Center Street 6 3
             22nd Avenue, Cambridge & North, Silver Springs 6 4
Lake Side Plant, 1948-1951 11 – Oversize 4
     Ice Houses Unidentified 6 5
     Ice Plant, West Side Plant, 31st and Cherry 6 6
     John H. Kopmeier and Group

Note: Glass Plate Negative – Separated From Collection

#22553 – #22557
     Management, 1926 – 1956 6 10
     Hometown Warehouses 6 11
     Manufacturing of Ice 6 12
     Miscellaneous Photographs 6 14
     North Avenue Showroom, 1931 11 – Oversize Loose In Box
     Oil Storage Yard, Washington Street Terminal, 1975

     Note: Photographs and Map

10 – Oversize

 

5
     Pewaukee Lake, 1915 6 13
     Photogravure Copper Plates Prints used in Historic Company

Newspapers    

7 Loose In Box
     Portraits
     Social Gatherings, 1906-1926 11 – Oversize 2
     Kopmeier Family and Early Ice Workers, undated 11- Oversize 3
     John H. Kopmeier and Group 11- Oversize Loose In Box
     Store Displays 6 15
     Truck Photographs
Coal 6 16
Fuel Oil 6 17
Ice 6 18
Oil and Gas, Hometown 6 19
Series 4: Audio/Visual Material
     16mm Films (7)
Ice Harvest, Random Lake Wisconsin, 1935 8 Loose in Box
Oscar Meyer Ice Promo 8 Loose in Box
Unidentified (5) 8 Loose in Box
     VHS(3), unidentified 9 Loose in Box
     Cassette Tapes (11), unidentified 9 Loose in Box
OVERSIZED FRAMED PHOTOS LOCATION
 -Company Truck, 1915 WH
 -Horse-drawn Wagons in Front of Company Offices, 1923 WH
 -Wagon with Ice in Front of Pabst Mansion, 1900 WH

MCHS
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